Thursday May 23, 2024

Israel confirms extension to truce with Hamas

Published : 01 Dec 2023, 00:46

  DF News Desk
People make fire to keep warm amid ruins of dwellings in the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis, Nov. 29, 2023. Photo: Xinhua by Rizek Abdeljawad.

Hamas and Israel have agreed to extend their humanitarian ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, said Palestinian and Israeli officials in multiple statements on Thursday, reported Xinhua.

The truce, which was set to expire on Thursday morning, will be extended for an additional day, according to a statement by Hamas.

"Through our mediators, we have agreed to extend the ceasefire for one further day," Hamas said in a press statement sent to Xinhua.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) confirmed on Thursday morning that the ceasefire with Hamas in the Gaza Strip will be extended.

"The operational pause will continue in light of the mediators' efforts to continue the process of releasing the hostages and subject to the terms of the framework," read a short statement released by the IDF several minutes before the expiration of the current truce deal.

Only eight hostages will be released by Hamas on Thursday, according to several Israeli media, as the two Israeli-Russian women released by Hamas earlier on Wednesday will be included in the hostage list for Thursday. In exchange, 30 Palestinians will be released from Israeli prisons.

Avichai Adraee, spokesperson of the Israeli army, said in a press statement that "given the efforts of the mediators to continue the process of releasing the abductees and in accordance with the terms of the agreement, the temporary humanitarian truce period will continue."

Adraee added that Hamas "will later hand over a new list" of names of the hostages to be released according to the agreement.

Overnight, both sides just completed the sixth round of release as part of the truce agreement. A total of 14 hostages, including 10 Israelis and four Thais, were freed on Wednesday night and received by Israeli hospitals for treatment and observation on Thursday morning, while 30 Palestinians were released from Israeli prisons.

Hours before the official announcements, the situation was extremely tense when the previous period for the humanitarian truce ended on Thursday, Palestinian sources said.

Tensions rose as Israel "refused to receive seven women and children detainees during the day and the bodies of three ... detainees who were killed due to the bombing of Gaza, in exchange for extending the truce," the Palestinian sources added.

Israeli outlets said that the list presented by Hamas for the new batch of kidnapped people "does not meet the agreed-upon standards."